Dr Nikolaus Eberl is the author of BrandOvation™: How Germany won the World Cup of Nation Branding and The Hero's Journey: Building a Nation of World Champions. He headed the Net Promoter Scorecard research project on SA's destination branding success story during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, co-authored the World Cup Brand Ambassador Program 'Welcome 2010' and was chairperson of the inaugural 2010 FAN World Cup. Email and follow @nikolauseberl.
Read more
Leadership lessons from the Iron Lady

Vilified by some, loved by others - the leadership legacy of Margaret Thatcher is as varied as it is distinct. Said German chancellor Angela Merkel: "She was an extraordinary leader in global politics of her time. I will never forget her part in surmounting the division of Europe and at the end of the Cold War."

By Dr Nikolaus Eberl 11 Apr 2013

Will Mangaung arrest a decline in confidence in South Africa's future?

With the 53rd Elective Conference of the ANC now on in Mangaung, and 33 prominent business leaders calling for a joint effort to "arrest a decline in confidence in South Africa's future" (a clarion call joined by members of the banks and the clergy), there is the question as to what exactly will restore both investor and consumer confidence post the event that is causing so much anxiety throughout the nation.

By Dr Nikolaus Eberl 16 Dec 2012

Will technology liberate humanity? The hidden message of the Mayan Calendar

With about two weeks to go to the much anticipated date of the Mayan calendar prophecy, just what exactly did their highly acclaimed calendar system predict - are we about to witness a cataclysmic event, as the Hollywood blockbuster movie 2012 wants to make us believe, or rather an apocalypse in the original meaning of the word, i.e. a revelation that might usher in a quantum leap in technology and a new era of social consciousness?

By Dr Nikolaus Eberl 8 Dec 2012

Lessons from Obama's presidential campaign

Having followed the Obama re-election campaign closely ever since the New Hampshire Primaries in January 2012, I have come to believe that there are important lessons to be drawn for success in leadership branding and getting people to vote for your brand - both on a political and commercial level.

By Dr Nikolaus Eberl 8 Nov 2012

Can SA restore investor confidence?

As a historian who has been tracking the fate of developing country brands ever since World War II, and having spent almost twenty years in various parts of South Africa, the recent crisis in key industry sectors has compelled me to lock myself away in the inner sanctuary of deciphering South Africa's brand image as is and should be, and to analyse just what can be done to reverse the economic fortunes of Africa's leading economy.

By Dr Nikolaus Eberl 18 Oct 2012

Should SA bid for hosting 2020 Olympic Games?

As Cabinet is about to announce the decision whether or not to bid for hosting the 2020 Olympic Summer Games, the big question remains whether the country will be able to produce a return on investment that will justify the financial outlay required for staging the world's second biggest sporting event.

By Dr Nikolaus Eberl 16 Aug 2011

[2010 FIFA World Cup legacy] The true legacy of 2010 - part 2

The first part of this 2010 Legacy Series analysed the direct benefits accruing to South Africa from having hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup, such as an increase in investor confidence, global media advocacy, social cohesion, country brand and business confidence. In the second part, we look at the indirect benefits.

By Dr Nikolaus Eberl 8 Jul 2011

[2010 FIFA World Cup legacy] The true legacy of 2010 - part 1

Imagine you were awarded the most prestigious global award in your industry, be it an Oscar, Grammy, Laureus or the Cannes Lion, and on the first anniversary of your greatest triumph, you let this moment pass without even the smallest thought at celebration, as the fairytale life that you were hoping for would unfold following your moment of global glory has not materialised and the floodgates of riches and fame have not opened up as quickly as you had wished for.

By Dr Nikolaus Eberl 28 Jun 2011

[2010 FIFA World Cup legacy] Is it all smoke and mirrors?

One year on - and not a single South African newspaper considered the 2010 FIFA World Cup Anniversary worth mentioning on the front cover (apart from a tiny Zakumi gracing the City Press banner). Equally disinterested was the national broadcaster, which did not even devote a single show to remembering what once had been billed "South Africa's greatest moment in history" - and even 702 pulled its World Cup Special in favour of a discussion on how holiday homes can be rented at a discount in low season.

By Dr Nikolaus Eberl 14 Jun 2011

Will gender cheating win the African Women's Championship?

When Banyana Banyana crashed out of the semi-final of the African Women's Championship (AWC), losing 3-1 to Equatorial Guinea in extra time, a spectre raised its ugly head that many believed should have been dealt a deadly blow at the previous edition of the AWC in 2008.

By Dr Nikolaus Eberl 19 Nov 2010

Can Banyana rebrand the business of soccer?

When the 2010 African Women Championships (AWC) kicked off on Sunday, 31 October 2010, at the Sinaba Stadium in Daveyton in front of a near capacity crowd, the big questions were whether the brand of South African soccer would be the real winner and whether the host team would be able to usher in a legacy in soccer development, similar to their US counterparts.

By Dr Nikolaus Eberl 2 Nov 2010

Who killed the 2010 World Cup PR guru?

It was a sad moment on Tuesday morning, 26 October 2010, at the Oberhausen Sea Life Aquarium, when cleaners found the lifeless body of Paul the Octopus floating in his by now world famous tank. The eight-armed oracle, which correctly predicted the outcome of all of Germany's FIFA World Cup matches (as well as the final), had become a worldwide PR phenomenon that was broadcast in over 200 countries and made his way into Twitter's top ten global trends.

By Dr Nikolaus Eberl 27 Oct 2010

SA's success inspires Brazil's 2014 campaign [Part 1]

In a move unprecedented in the history of the FIFA World Cup, forthcoming 2014 hosts Brazil have launched a global destination branding campaign, a full four years before the first game kicks off, to entice football fans to savour the country of samba in 2014.

By Dr Nikolaus Eberl 2 Aug 2010

How to beat the world cup blues

After 31 days of football fever and the highs and lows of teams either progressing to the next round or crashing out of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, how can South Africans deal with the inevitable withdrawal symptoms of missing the games, stars and visitors alike, now that the ultimate 2010 whistle has been blown?

By Dr Nikolaus Eberl 12 Jul 2010

Can Bafana restore South Africa's Collective Confidence?

As Bafana have concluded their second training camp held at the Adidas high performance centre in Herzogenaurach, Germany, it is becoming clearer by the day that the hosting team has a vital role to play in ensuring the success of the tournament and generating the much-needed euphoria amongst local supporters.

By Dr Nikolaus Eberl 30 Apr 2010

Just how much is a FIFA World Cup slot worth?

As the qualified teams are preparing for the ultimate battle of world football, many analysts are wondering just how much the highly coveted slot at the FIFA World Cup is worth in economic terms. Fortunately, recent events helped shed light on this issue, when Thierry Henry's handball helped France beat Ireland to reach the world cup finals.

By Dr Nikolaus Eberl 16 Apr 2010

Can 2010 heal South Africa's racial divide?

As the debate over racism rages throughout the nation and political parties seem fond of using this card as a sledgehammer to divide constituencies, it is worthwhile casting back our gaze to a previous host country that was equally divided along the racial fault-lines and emerged united from hosting the FIFA World Cup.

By Dr Nikolaus Eberl 9 Apr 2010

Can 2010 be a catalyst for ‘brand-making' SA's values?

Whilst most soccer pundits point to the 2006 World Cup held in Germany as an example of leveraging the world's biggest sporting event for rebranding the hosting nation, possibly the most relevant testimony to the nation branding power of the global showpiece emanates from the 2002 co-hosts, the Republic of Korea.

By Dr Nikolaus Eberl 31 Mar 2010

True benefits of hosting best world cup ever

Ever since the announcement of South Africa being the host for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, critics have argued that the world cup will lead to “limited benefits that will probably not extend far beyond the final whistle”. However, what the 2010 critics omit to acknowledge are the significant benefits South Africa may reap by leveraging the nation branding dimensions of the FIFA World Cup.

By Dr Nikolaus Eberl 26 Mar 2010

Just how damaging are service delivery protests for 2010?

When Jeremy Maggs interviewed International Marketing Council (IMC) chair Anitha Soni earlier this week as to just how much damage the recent service delivery protests have caused to South Africa's brand image, in view of the impending 2010 FIFA World Cup, deja vu of previous world cup hosts kept flashing before my eyes - it appears that the months running up to the big event tend to be beset by problems and challenges alike, ever since the 1990 World Cup held in Italy.

By Dr Nikolaus Eberl 18 Mar 2010

Next >